tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 22, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EST
apologizing, but that is not calming the firestorm. we'll talk with the professor who is demanding that that chancellor resign. i'm thomas roberts. we begin with the super committee. the battle is already raging with defense talks in congress who want to stop any automatic spending cuts to the military. president obama says as long as he's president, there will be no skirting around the deal. >> already some in congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. my message to them is simple. no. i will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. there will be no easy off-ramps on this one. >> certainly that's a message to be echoed by the president in new hampshire today. we have our all-star lineup panel right here for you. nbc's luke russert, former labor secretary robert reich and our own kristin welker on the
president's trip to the granite state. i want to start with luke who will be talking to us more about this failed committee. luke, explain to us, what are we hearing from some of these committee members and the latest about these automatic triggers that will kick into effect? >> what you're hearing from a lot of committee members, thomas, is trying to sort of spin it as to which side was really trying to do more within the deliberations of reaching a successful compromise. from the republican side, you hear the democrats were not really serious about trying to pay down the doubt in regards to entitlements. listen to what pennsylvania senator patrick toohey said to me this morning. >> the problem is that the spending is at a much higher level. and it's going to continue to grow. unfortunately in this discussion, the democrats were not willing to address the real drivers. obama care was completely off the table. any meaningful reforms of medicaid, completely off the table. this is the problem that we had in this committee. it's a problem that we still continue to have. >> that's how republicans are framing the debate, thomas.
if you talk to democrats, they will say the republicans were unwilling to see any type of revenue increases. that that was the big problem that primarily the bush tax cuts and their extension which would add $3.8 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years. republicans would not budge on that. not to mention, thomas, that the federal revenue is at its lowest point of gdp since 1950. democrats say that needed to be upped. both sides are staking out what they believe to be the high ground. this pushes the issue to the 2012 elections. the economy will be number one and the cuts. as far as the automatic cuts, speaker boehner said he felt morally bound to them. every super committee member has said they would like to see those cuts go guard because of their failure. however, soon, the house gop said he'll be introducing legislation the military what they see to be very detrimental cuts. >> luke, thank you. robert reich is a professor at
the university of california berkeley and the former labor secretary under president bill clinton as well as a cnbc contributor. sir, it's nice to have you on as we talk about this because you can help us with the big picture about the super committee's failure, especially what it means in terms of the future deficits but for the middle class and the impact on the bigger problems in this country right now, which is jobs. >> thomas, it means that nothing is going to happen over the next year. this election is going to be about the budget, about jobs, also about taxes. do we want taxes to increase on the rich? and those are the issues. don't expect an extension of unemployment benefits, emergency unemployment benefits. don't expect an extension of the payroll tax cuts. i think congress has signaled that it is unable to agree to anything. and that it is pushing everything onto the election of 2012. >> when we look at certain things that are being written right now, i want to point out this excerpt from david brooks' op-ed in "the new york times,"
saying "both parties have become minority parties simultaneously. the democrat and republican parties used to contain serious internal debates between moderate and conservative republicans, between new democrats and liberals. neither party does now. each party is too weak to push its own agenda and too encased to its own cocoon to agree to a hybrid. can either party become enough of a force to actually get something done? >> well, not right now. again, thomas, that's what the 2012 election is going to be about. which party is going to have a mandate to move forward with its agenda? the democrats have to be much more specific about their agenda. that is jobs and wages. democrats have got to put forward a very large jobs bill. the president has already put forward one. but it is relatively small, at least relative to the scale of the jobs problem. it's going to create maybe 2 million jobs, but 14 million americans are jobless. hopefully the president and the democrats will put forth an even more ambitious jobs program.
the second issue is taxes. and the republicans say no new taxes at all. they are adhering to the grover norquist tax breaks. the democrat s are going to hopefully say to the public, look, this is all about whether you want to tax the wealthy who have more income and more wealth in this country than they've had in 80 years as a proportion of total income and total wealth and are facing the lowest effective tax rates they've faced in 35 years. >> professor, explain to all of us as you know what it's like inside the beltway there. how can these elected leaders hold their heads up after promising not to fail when they walked into this super committee hearings, but they've come out throwing their hands up in the air, throwing the towel in, asking americans to sacrifice more, yet there's really no consequence over the next year to these elected leaders. >> well, there is a consequence, thomas, because remember, only 9% of americans now hold congress in a kind of positive light. the rest, 91%, say they don't like congress very much.
they feel negative toward congress. well, i think everybody in congress must feel some degree of anxiety about will voters are going to take it out on them, particularly if they're in the house of representatives or they are up for re-election in the senate. they are and have a right to be a little nervous. the public doesn't like what's going on. the public doesn't like the interparty fighting. but if the public takes a closer look, i do believe -- and i'm trying to keep my partisan hat off now, i do believe republicans are going to be shown to be much more ideologically rigid. they're the ones that have said to the president over and over again, and to the democrats, no. we are not going forward. and they have not come up with many new ideas of their own. >> robert reich. nice to have you on this morning. thanks for your time. it is against the backdrop that president obama now takes his message to new hampshire. he'll be talking about the economy and the gridlock. and it comes at a critical time
as recent polls show he's badly trailing mitt romney in new hampshire. romney is welcoming the president with this open letter and in that letter saying, quote, we now have had three years to watch your policies unfold and to assess their results. the evidence is in and it's unequivocal. i will be blunt. your policies have failed. nbc's kiss tristin welker is li the white house lawn. certainly crucial to the president and mitt romney knows it. and this open letter went out today. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, thomas. and president obama just touched down in new hampshire, in fact. he's going to speak at a school there in just a short while. here's one reason why new hampshire is so important. consider this scenario. president obama could lose ohio, florida, north carolina or virginia and still win re-election as long as he wins colorado, nevada and new mexico. and the states that john kerry won back in 2004. however, under that scenario if he loses new hampshire, just four electoral votes, he won't
get the 270 votes he needs for re-election. so that's how important those four little electoral votes really are. mitt romney knows this. he knows that the state is in play. he released this attack ad today in new hampshire. take a look. >> we need a rescue plan for the middle class. we need to provide relief for homeowners. it's going to take a new direction. if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> reporter: so team romney essentially hammering president obama there for his handling of the economy. the obama re-election team has said that they've really taken some of the president's words out of context, including that last sound bite in which he says if we talk about the economy, we're going to lose, that was actually something that a then-candidate obama said back in 2008, referencing something that a mccain aide said. here's what president obama actually said back in 2008. take a listen.
>> senator mccain's campaign actually said, and i quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> reporter: so that's that full president obama quote there, thomas. again, this state is in play. and as you mentioned, president obama in a hypothetical matchup currently trailing mitt romney. so it is getting interesting. thomas? >> nbc's kristen welker at the house. keep it here. we'll bring you the president's speech live from the granite state in the next hour. new video of three americans, one of them from indiana, arrested in egypt for allegedly throwing molotov cocktails during the country's explosive and deadly uprising. one of those students is 21-year-old luke gates of american university. his family telling nbc news they have been in touch with the state department. this as more violence erupts in tahrir square during the so-called million-man rally. angry mobs hurling rocks at riot
squads and getting a barrage of tear gas in the face. nbc's richard engel joins us live from cairo with an update. richard, how have things changed over the last 24 hours? >> reporter: well, the last 24 howevers, there's been a radical change here in tahrir square. yesterday, there was a lot of violence, lots of clashes and relatively small crowds. now the crowds are absolutely enormous. i would say it's several hundred thousand people. the protesters wanted to have a million-man demonstration today. maybe they're going to get it. it's very difficult to know how many people are here. i was just down in the crowd a short while ago. it is standing room only. they are united. they are from different walks of life, but they are united in calling for the ouster of the egyptian military. you can hear them all celebrating, whistling right now. if you go up a little bit further down, you can see there's the flashing lights of an ambulance.
that's where the clashes have been taking place. and as the injured have been brought into the square, they will get a hero's welcome and celebration like this. now, what we've also just been hearing over the last few minutes is that the egyptian military leaders are meeting to try and form some sort of national salvation government. what that means exactly remains unclear, but it would be something where the military is trying to compromise with the civilian leadership to find an exit out of this crisis, thomas. >> nbc's richard engel, really in the thick of things in tahrir square in tcairo. back here in the states, move over, cain. there's a new republican front-runner, newt gingrich. 15 minutes of fame, you ask, or does he really have staying power? plus, the uc-davis chancellor apologizes for last week's pepper spraying incident, but that's not good enough for assistant professor nathan brown. he aupwants her to go.
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welcome back. so the tents, they are backtest the uc-davis campus. students are also shouting for the resignation of their chancellor. they pepper sprayed a seemingly peaceful crowd on friday. the chancellor has since apologized and says it should never have happened, but many students and faculty say it's too little, too late. among them is nathan brown, an
assistant english professor from uc-davis who joins me live via skype. your chancellor spoke out yesterday saying she is sorry. police were not supposed to use this type of force. she wasn't at that rally on friday. it's truly now infamous where police pulled out the pepper spray. some would say it was more like a pepper hose. but what is your opinion on why she needs to be forced out? >> well, what we've seen over the past two years at uc campuses is a systematic use of police brutality to terrorize student and faculty protesters. and there has to be accountability somewhere down the line. and i'm afraid that on our campus, the buck stops with the chancellor. the chancellor, as you've said at the top of your show, initially defended the actions of the ucpd. and since friday, she has been engaged in furious program of backpedaling and obfuscation
which follows a fair ly common script in police brutality. >> when you talk about what's happened on campus, there has been this longstanding no-camp policy. protesters will hold a conference at 2:00 pacific time. is there the atmosphere that the community supports the protesters or the campus community just doesn't support the force that was shown? >> i think the campus community very strongly supports the protesters. many, many uc faculty, for example, signed a statement supporting the goals of the occupy movement in the united states just a few weeks ago. when we see that movement on to our own actual campuses, we then see the same sort of repression that that movement has faced in other cities throughout the country where we've seen people pepper sprayed, tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, seriously injured and hospitalized as students were at uc-davis.
and so i think, you know, the rally yesterday add uc-davis which was attended by upwards of 5,000 people shows how strongly the university community supports these students. there are policies and procedures, but the fact is there is also the right protests. and these students need to be able to act in solidarity with other people who share their beliefs. they need to be able to protest ongoing tuition increases at the university of california which are precipitous and disastrous. what we see is that when they stach stand up and say we will not pay more. we will not go further into debt, these protesters are beaten and hospitalizedized and arrested. and it's an unacceptable state of affairs. >> we certainly have the eyes of the country looking at what's going on at uc-davis. nathan brown, professor at uc-davis, thanks, appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me on the show. possible obstruction of justice charges in the penn state sex abuse scandal. prisoners say the children's charity founded by jerry
sandusky failed to turn over expense reports despite being ordered to do so by grand jury subpoena. second mile's been under fire since sandusky's arrest for allegedly molesting eight boys who came forward. one young man who met him through the charity tells a very different story. take a listen. >> so from the time you were 10 years old until you were how old were you seeing him every weekend? >> till i think i was 16, maybe. >> so for six years, you got to know him pretty well on the weekends. >> mm-hmm. >> jerry sandusky is being portrayed as a monster, but is that the jerry sandusky you knew? >> i didn't know that side of jerry sandusky. >> so the jerry sandusky you knew was not a monster? >> correct. >> nbc national investigative reporter michael isikoff is live. bring us up to speed on how the campus is saying their investigation is going? >> reporter: well, there are multiple investigations, thomas. we learned yesterday that former fbi director louie free will be
heading up the school's own internal investigation using former fbi agents and u.s. attorneys. but there's also developments on the state attorney general's investigation. we reported last night that one possible avenue there is obstruction of justice. that there had been a contempt motion filed by the attorney general's office against the second mile charity that jerry sandusky founded because it had failed to turn over expense reports for sandusky that had been subpoenaed by the grand jury. now, subsequently, the charity did locate some of those records, turn them over, and the contempt motion was withdrawn. but there are still outstanding expense reports that have not been identified, that have not been found. and one focus of the investigations both by the charity and the attorney general's office prosecutors is were those documents removed or destroyed in a possible effort
to impede the investigation? >> nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. thanks for the update. what happens on wall street when it doesn't always stay on wall street? it has a big impact on main street. our next guest is asking, does america really need wall street, at least the way that we already know it? plus, a look at who makes up a small percentage of the 1%ers. the black 1%. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future.
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but is she eating sugar this week? maybe she wants the all natural, zero calorie stuff. but if you're wrong, you're insinuating she's fat. save yourself. it's only natural. as americans who lost their homes to foreclosures or their nest eggs in stocks wait to see what exactly will change on wall street. some questioning does america even need wall street? joining me is jeff madrich of the schwartz center for economic policy and analysis and, also
author of "the age of greed." jeff, good to have you here. in the latest "washington post" opinion piece you've written, obviously suggesting the country not wholeheartedly do away with wall street, but it needs this overhaul from the top down. how do you suggest doing it? >> well, first of all, we need a sober attitude about what wall street does. we haven't had a sober attitude. we've accepted a doubling and by some measures a quadrupling of the size of wall street compared to the rest of gdp. we need, i think, to begin by pairing them with big banks and to not merely in size but in terms of their functions. and we need to start establishing very serious regulations. about trading securities, about capital requirements and about how much they charge in fees. >> furthermore in the op-ed that you wrote about wall street saying that this generation, it has not abided by free-market practices. it has traded complex securities in secret. it is rife with conflicts of
interest. wall street has paid its workers to take risks and has impersonalized them when they were wrong. in large part, when you think about this, your biggest fear is is that while we're thinking about what's going on right now and not taking a sober look as we should, we're in fear of losing an entire generation. >> yeah. i think we are. people talk about losing a decade. i'm worried we're not dealing with wall street. we're not dealing with our fiscal issues, but mostly not jobs and fiscal stimulus properly. we could lose much more than a decade here. a lot of this stems, of course, from what wall street was allowed to do. we accepted what they were allowed to do. the regulators, clinton administration, bush administration, going back farther, in my book goes back to the late '60s and 1970s, we allowed them to do what they wanted to do. i'm delighted you picked out that particular part because the irony is they did not abide by truth free-market principles. they traded in secret. there were all kinds of conflicts in interest.
like kids paying for their grades. it was tolerated. where were these free-market, dedicated regulators from alan greenspan, the fed chairman on down, to stop this? they were so persuaded by their own market ideology and perhaps by the power of wall street itself, they did not look into this. >> but is it the cyclical overdose of greed that has created this? because once people get a certain taste for it, it's hard to let it go? >> well, you put your finger on it. once you get a taste for it and you are not checked and it's tolerated culturally, it keeps going. and this excess was a function of greed. very high fees. lots of money made on very risky deals, and people didn't understand the level of risk. and so on and so forth. but people always tell me, hey, greed always existed. yeah, we have a tendency to greed, but we don't have tendency of greed that overruns. >> jeff madrick, nice to have you here again.
the book is called "age of greed," and i appreciate you coming in and talking to me. south korean lawmakers were attacked by tear gas during a debate over a trade deal with the u.s. just take a look at this. you won't believe who threw that powder. and how herman cain is using his race to woo voters in iowa. wait until you see what he's mailing out. and texas authorities are looking for the pilot of that plane. he or she left something on board. a whole lot of pot. we'll look at that, too, after this. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. she's a black friday living legend. she even named her kid "black friday." [ woman 2 ] whoa. [ male announcer ] black friday's here. deals start thursday 10 pm. but we're open all day and night so you don't have to wait outside. the only place to go on black friday. walmart.
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welcome back. there we have it, president obama touching down in new hampshire moments ago. he is there to tout his american jobs act. and he'll probably have more to say about the super committee's failure to come up with a debt reduction deal. the president has voiced his frustrations with republicans. but he told msnbc's al sharpton on his radio show that he's staying positive. >> it must be my religious
faith, reverend, because hope springs eternal, and i continue to believe at some point common sense will prevail, and we'll be able to work something up. we're just going to have to keep pushing to see if we can get republicans to accept the common sense. >> we'll have the president's live remarks in new hampshire in our next hour. watch more of that interview with reverend al tonight on "politics nation" here on msnbc. newt gingrich isn't losing any momentum with republican voters. a new national poll shows the speaker over the 25% mark stealing support from the slumping herman cain and connecting with conservative voters still unsure about mitt romney. let's talk about that with former pennsylvania governor and current msnbc analyst ed rendell. govern governor, i want to start with you. there are other problems with mitt romney in the latest poll. in a head-to-head matchup with gingrich, he trails ten points, also well behind republican men and self-described conservatives.
is this cause for concern, especially this late in the game? >> well, sure, a little bit. but remember, you're talking national polls. and the most important thing in this season is state poll. hillary clinton led in all of the national polls all the way up to iowa, the iowa caucuses. she was way ahead in the national polls. so it's the state polls that are important. and in the state polls, particularly the early four or five, i think mitt romney is still doing pretty well. and the look, the question is will newt gingrich have the same fate as rick perry did, michele bachmann did and, of course, herman cain did? when people start examining him, his beliefs, his history, is he going to crater, too? the one thing we know about romney is he's not going to crater. he is a major-league candidate. he's not the best in the world, but he's a major-league candidate, and he's the only republican right now that's running even with president obama. and that, i think, in the end is something that republican voters are going to take to heart.
>> susan, gingrich continues to say things to some that could be shocking including this quote on child labor. he says it is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods in trapping children first of all in child laws that are truly stupid. most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. now, for some people, i mean, i was a busboy at johnny unitas' golden arm. what's wrong with that? >> he really took it to the extreme which is nothing new for newt gingrich. i mean, he does often suffer from foot-and-mouth disease. but, you know, right now he has got to prove, you know, what goes up must come down in the republican primaries. mitt romney's had a very steady rise. and will continue to do so. and i think the governor's right. when you look at the state-by-state primary polls, you see that mitt romney's doing quite well. >> all right. as you say what goes up must come down, that's a perfect segue to ask the governor about herman cain.
what do you think? does he have the stamina to go forward especially in iowa? >> no, i think cain will be gone by new hampshire. look, this is still romney's to lose. newt gingrich, as susan pointed out, helps romney by making statements that are over the top. first, it's an attack on men and women who hold the position of janitor. that is no longer a position where you just sweep the floors. there was an excellent article in "the atlantic" saying that most school janitors, for example, deal with hydraulic which is necessary to clean pipes, et cetera. is it a good idea where kids help out after school and help do some of the more menial tasks and get paid for it and learn about work habits? sure. there are exceptions to child labor rules, but you wouldn't need an exception because you'd start that program with 16, 17 and 18-year-olds. but newt takes it to extremes. he beats up on unionized janitors, good lord, do we think unionized janitors get paid too much?
i think this is still mitt romney's to lose, and i think in the end he'll be the candidate. >> it's been about 72 hours. of course that means we need another debate. susan, we've got the candidates facing off, another foreign policy debate. they really desperately need to show that they've got foreign policy knowledge, especially herman cain. >> yeah, they have to make sure they know all the countries involved in foreign policies and which continents they're on, those are all important things. after that i think you have to see serious conversations probably most of all from newt gingrich, rick santorum, mitt romney and jon huntsman. and i think you're also going to see a lot of them challenge the president in the debate he's currently having with the secretary of defense, leon panetta, who's coming at him saying we can't afford the budget cuts that will happen. so you may see a lot of attacks on the president for that. >> former governor ed rendell, susan, great to see you this morning. thanks for your time. here's a look at other stories topping the news right now.
>> we are the 99%! >> we are the 99%! >> we will be heard! >> we will be heard! >> all right. that's what we wanted to show you. there's no way to express an objection. a politician decided to go off the rails in the south korean parliament today, throwing a handful of tear gas powder in the faces of fellow lawmakers. this happened moments after they signed trade pacts with the u.s. apparently, he opposed the deal, that is the thrower. texas authorities searching for a runaway pilot. when police arrived, they found an abandoned plane with broken or missing nose gear carrying a large amount of marijuana. police say other passengers may also be on the loose. wet and nasty weather on the biggest travel day of the thanksgiving week. that's not what you want to hear. but tomorrow's forecast calls for wind, rain, thunder and snow all along the east coast. just as 42 million americans prepare to take to the roads. trains and planes out of town this weekend trying to get to grandma's house. weather channel meteorologist
nick walker is tracking this storm for us. so nick, is it really going to be as bad as people are fearing that it could be? >> yeah, it really is. for at least a day. by thanksgiving, we'll be in good shape. but traveling, going to be tough until this front exits. then we're in good shape with sunshine building in. and mild temperatures. so, you know, patience is going to be the word here in all of the northeastern hubs from boston, new york, philly, washington, pittsburgh. rain, storms, wind. and snow from upstate new york on up into maine. so expect delays in all of these areas. but, again, by thanksgiving day, you're going to be in great shape. sunshine all along the east and central portion of the nation back towards the northwest, you'll see rainy, windy scenarios. it will be tough getting there, but once there, enjoy your thanksgiving. >> the weather channel's nick walker. nick, thanks so much. appreciate it. we are the 99%! >> we are the 99%! >> we i will be heard! >> we will be heard!
>> occupy wall street protesters making their voices heard and heck heckle ron paul. and rahm emanuel getting the same treat. there's a lot of outrage, but who exactly is in that 1% and how many african-americans are in that number as well? cnbc street signs analyst ch chartia brantley wrote about this. she joins me to talk about this. what did you discover in doing the research for this piece especially when we focus in on african-americans and the 1%? >> i was stunned. african-americans account for 13.6% of the u.s. population. so going into the analysis, i assume that we would be a much larger percentage of the 1%. and turns out 1.4% of the 1% are african-americans. 96% are caucasians. >> when we look at the research itself, what sort of disparities do you see in terms of household
incomes, especially when we talk about the 1%, i mean, it's hard to feel sorry for the 1%. but when you do the numbers and you look at the hard math, what are the income disparities in that top bracket? >> within the 1%, african-americans make about 22% less than caucasians. and i'm using them as a comparison point since they comprise the majority of the 1%. but what we found, the issue is not so much on income as it is on net worth. and that is where the disparity really is very prevalent. african-americans in the top 1% have net income, a median net income, of 1.2 million, but caucasians have 8.3 million. >> so the showcase is that much different when we talk about the net. and it is that much larger. and it's probably a lot of the likely media figures that we already know? >> definitely. when looking at the industries that a lot of the top 1%ers work in, we definitely have the financial component. >> sure. >> insurance, real estate. the likely culprits, so to
speak. but we also have people in manufactu manufacturing. and within that major code where most of the top 1% reside in terms of profession, you have the entertainers. so you have publishing people. they call it performing artists and spectator sports, i.e., your athletes. >> so for everybody that wants to see more about this, they can read it online. great to have you in today. it's a full report you can read more about. the details of who makes up the 1% within the african-american community. again, go to thegrio.com. a virginia lawmaker is proposing a personhood bill. similar ballots could be on the bill next year. is this truly a war on women? melissa harris-perry joins me to sound off next. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep.
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in this right-to-life fight. >> melissa harris-perry, great to see you. you can always follow the good professor on twitter and read more of her thoughts online at thenation.com. a victim of bullying is fighting back and doing so in a positive way. how the first openly gay student body president at the university of michigan is helping other lgtb students. what red light beare the ber retiring baby boomers? a new survey used criteria that included health care, economy, housing and transportation. coming in at number one was minneapolis-st. paul because of the nearby mayo clinic and cultural venues. ranked second was boston because of its great public transportation. and coming in third was pittsburgh because of its revitalized economy. >> brought to you by alka seltzer plus cold and cough. uth, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose.
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murder with a 21-year sentence. no chance for parole. to a college student who faced his own alleged anti-gay critic and turned his experience into a win-win. former university of michigan president openly gay became the target of intense criticism and he talked about it now on y youtu youtube. take a look. >> a year ago an assistant attorney general in michigan began bullying and stalking me because i was gay. and tried in every way he possibly could to get me kicked out of my office. >> that assistant d.a. has since been fired. armstrong says the university of michigan rallied behind him now he found a way to help others who face bullying. chris armstrong is joining me in chicago. chris, i want to tell everybody, you nowç newly launched a scholarship fund to help young people who have been bullied attend to university of michigan. a lot of people who remember what you went through a year ago probably wouldn't blame you if
you tried to get some of your privacy back. why did you decide to go this route and pay it forward, so to speak. >> thanks. a lot of students right now are coming out more vulnerable at more ages and i think we've seen it and the previous year and this year, even now. students are still committing suicide and choosing that route even in spite of being told that it gets better. i think students need to know specifically where it can get better. the places it can get better. and find communities where, you know, like the university of michigan, that like really welcome students. >> chris, you currently are involved with this legal bat with the former d.a., an strou sheshle. you're sug him for defamation about the statements a he made about you on a website. he's counter suing you because he lost his job. if the kournts do find in your favor, what do you see, what do you want to see happen? >> well, more than anything, i just want to make sure that
sherbel apologizes and makes sure there is an apology because at the university of michigan last year students stood up, students and faculty really stood up around me and rallied around me and showed that students knew this kind of behavior wasn't acceptable and they knew that bullying wasn't acceptable in their community. i think more that example needs to be set in more and more communities. more and more pleases need towns that and rally around students who have been bully and make sure that they feel welcome that they know that it can get better now and get better in the places that they are right now. >> chris, have you ever figured out why he went after you in such a personalç way? >> i don't. i don't really. i don't really think about it, but i honestly feel like it's -- i can only be humbled by the fact that everyone has been so supportive of me and the scholarship and the university of michigan has really been a beacon of hope for students who
are looking for a place to, you know, be openly gay and find who they are. i think that what i hope through scholarship is to make sure that more students come to the university of michigan because it's such a welcoming place. >> you turned a bad situation on its head and hopefully a lots of positive things will come out of it now. former university of michigan student body president, chris armstrong. that's going to do it for me today. thank you. i'll see you back here tomorrow. until then, follow me on twitter at thomasaroberts. don't go anywhere now, though, alex wagner is coming up. >> hey, thomas. super committee scorecard is on deck today of an epic fail. there is a super divided in this congress but is another election the answer? plus, president obama will speak about jobs in new hampshire a n. about 20 minutes. and how mitt romney ruled out the welcome mat for him there. joining me today, julian tett, kristina, moran zucker man and
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supervisor ircommittee, super fail, super divide, super bad. it's tuesday, november 22nd. this is "now." >> there are still too many republicans in congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of washington. >> they were fundamentally different positions. people tried to find a way to reach those differences and come up with some common ground. we just weren't able to get that. >> sorry for our country because this was a moment of important leadership. it was a real test. >> president's fault, congress' fault, it was a mess. >> we're going to put the military on the chopping block. it's like holding a gun to your own head. >> i will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic